Flipper Repair - ball point pen and storm door part

Production K Models

Flipper Repair - ball point pen and storm door part

Postby hennesse » Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:20 pm

My right instrument panel flipper was sad - one of the two spiral cuts had been broken off.

I stared at it, wondering how I might fix it. I figured an inside piece and an outside piece with matching cuts would probably hold the things together.

The thought struck me, the metal ink tube from a ball point pen might just fit inside of the stem. I took apart a ball point pen, and the plastic ink tube did fit nicely inside of the stem. I took apart every ball point I could find, and they were all plastic. Everywhere I went, I asked people if I could borrow a pen, and when they gave me one, I took it apart, looked ruefully at the plastic ink tube, put it back together, and handed it back to them. I'm pretty sure everyone in town now thinks I'm a little "tetched in the head". Finally, deep in the bowels of my toolbox, I found a crusty old pen from somewhere I had worked back in the 1970s. Mirabile dictu, it had a metal ink tube!

Since Mr. Inside had been found, I went in search of Mr. Outside. I spent a long time at the hardware store looking at little cylindrical spacer things in the pull-out drawer assortments of various parts. In the box marked "Storm door parts", I found a plastic catch for holding a removable screen to the door. The outside diameter would fit inside the flipper spring, but the inside would need to be enlarged a bit to go over the flipper stem. The length was more than enough, and I could just cut off the little handle thing. A whopping $0.59. Actually, $1.18, because I bought two, knowing I'd mess the first one up. (I did.)

Parts, with donor pen
DMH_003671-72-720x576.jpg (43.39 KiB) Viewed 3328 times

I drilled 3/32 holes in the pen tube and screen door part to match the holes in the flipper stem. Drilling the screen door part to 15/64" gave a light interference fit on the flipper stem. Then I used an X-Acto saw to remove the excess from the screen door part, and shorten the pen part. I had to buy an X-Acto saw for $10 (no handle). I know I have one around here somewhere (with a handle), but of course I couldn't find it when I needed it. Tomorrow, when I don't need it, I'll spot it immediately. I used the saw to cut slots in the end of the screen door part, slightly counter-clockwise from, and adjoining the holes. This took two passes with the X-Acto saw to get the slots the width of the spring wire. I made one saw cut on the pen part, but then used a miniature side-cutters for electronics work to enlarge the slots to proper width.

Slots in storm door part
DMH_003675-72-720x576.jpg (77.07 KiB) Viewed 3328 times

Assembled it, and it seems to be working just fine. It'll be a slight pain to disassemble it, but hopefully, I'll never need to.

Finished product
DMH_003685-close-72-461x576.jpg (49.5 KiB) Viewed 3328 times
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